OceanGate CEO and Founder Is Aboard the Missing Titan in an Ironic Twist of Fate

What is OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush’s net worth? The founder and CEO is on the missing Titan along with four other wealthy passengers.

Jamie Lerner - Author

Jun. 21 2023, Published 11:49 a.m. ET

The world has become enraptured by the missing OceanGate vessel, the Titan, which went missing during its dive to the Titanic’s ruins. Piloted by OceanGate’s founder and CEO Stockton Rush, this historic expedition was en route to not just see the famous sunken ship, but learn more about its underwater decay. Sadly, however, the submersible is now lost at sea, and the passengers have little to no chance of survival.

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Aboard the submersible is billionaire explorer Hamish Harding, “Mr. Titanic” Paul-Henri Nargeolet, business tycoon Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman, and OceanGate Founder/CEO/Chairman Stockton Rush. But what is Stockton Rush’s net worth?

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OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush has an estimated net worth of $12 million.

Stockton was born into a wealthy family, which allowed him to pursue his passions. A Family Office Exchange article from a 2020 virtual forum explained, “With his family’s wealth behind him, Rush had the capacity to ‘meander’ his way through various jobs and experiences that eventually led him to the ocean. The family funds originally came from his Grandfather, who Rush describes as a ‘dirt poor Irish immigrant,’ who by age 33 became the youngest director of Standard Oil in America.”

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However, Stockton’s ancestry can also be traced back to two of America’s founding fathers, giving him wealth on both sides of the family. He’s a descendant of two of the Declaration of Independence’s signers: Benjamin Rush and Richard Stockton. Stockton is also descended from 18th-century poet Annis Stockton, US Attorney General Richard Rush, and US Civil War commander Richard Henry Rush.

While Stockton’s exact net worth isn’t public knowledge, between his family money, OceanGate salary, and aerospace experience, his estimated net worth is $12 million. However, OceanGate has been valued at $66 million, so as the Founder and CEO of OceanGate, he likely has a high financial stake in the company.

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Stockton Rush first founded OceanGate to become an explorer and tap into the exploration market.

Stockton spent much of his adult life dabbling in different areas of exploration. At 19 years old, he became the youngest jet transport-rated pilot in the world and flew for Saudi Arabian Airlines during his Princeton summer holidays. He worked with the US Air Force, Remote Control Technologies, and BlueView Technologies, all to go to outer space.

While at Princeton, he built both an experimental aircraft and his own two-man submersible, so he’s well-versed in the technology used by OceanGate. Initially, his goal was to be the first man on Mars, but by age 44, he realized that wasn’t financially viable and decided to explore the ocean’s depths instead.

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In a 2017 interview with Fast Company, Stockton explained, “I realized that what I really wanted to do was explore. I wanted to be Captain Kirk, and in our lifetime, the final frontier is the ocean.” In doing so, he felt he could also meet the demand for “unique travel experiences,” which he estimates is a $275 billion-a-year industry. The industry includes expensive trips like the famous Blue Origin trip to outer space and tailored expeditions to the summit of Mt. Everest.

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“There’s all these resources to be explored and I couldn’t understand why there weren’t any manned subs,” he said at the time. “Turns out one of the reasons was that people had not looked at the business aspect of operating a manned sub, because operations were funded by governments through universities for research. Nobody thought about cost, nobody thought about revenue.”

Now that he’s successfully monetized it—a seat on the Titan costs $250,000 per person!—he may have overlooked the extra importance of safety measures. And now he’s sitting next to the four people whose lives he may have inadvertently ended in an inescapable capsule.

Our thoughts and best wishes are with the friends and family of those aboard the Titan as we hope for their safe return.

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